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Five Days

3.8 out of 5 stars 2,394 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Five Days

A mother, Leanne, vanishes into thin air. Her children, abandoned in her car, also go missing. As police search for clues over three gut-wrenching months, the Leanne's husband and family learn that nobody's quite what they seem. Everyone is a suspect. In the end, five days prove critical in solving the case in this five-part, five-hour thriller.



An ordinary afternoon turns into a 79-day nightmare in this absorbing, if leisurely-paced BBC/HBO co-production. Leanne (Christine Tremarco), a mother of three, leaves her youngest children in the car while she buys flowers for a relative. In a flash, she's gone. Her mercurial husband, Matt (David Oyelowo), and teenage daughter, Tanya (Lucinda Dryzek), from a previous marriage, call in the authorities. Superintendent Barclay (Hugh Bonneville), Sergeant Foster (Janet McTeer), and Officer Farnes (Nikki Amuka-Bird) take charge of the case, while the missing woman’s parents, Barbara and John (Penelope Wilton and Patrick Malahide), help out around the house. Slowly but surely, several potential suspects come into view. With each episode representing a different day, this five-part series weaves an intricate web. Like the BBC's State of Play, but on a more intimate scale, each group is in opposition against the other. That includes reporters, co-workers--even an innocent bystander gets caught up in the commotion. Race complicates matters further, since Leanne is white and Matt is black. In the end, though, character takes precedence over all other concerns. While the acting is up to the BBC's usual high standards, MI-5’s Oyelowo deserves special mention as a man coping with every kind of pressure. The two-disc set concludes with "Behind the Mystery," in which writer Gwyneth Hughes discusses the thinking behind her script. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,394 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00127RAH6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,322 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Five Days" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Agree with all the previous reviews. This is an excellent and riveting miniseries from HBO/BBC. It centres around the mysterious disappearance of a young mother who stops to buy flowers at a roadside stand. Gripping performances all round from an ensemble cast.

The search for the missing woman takes almost 3 months. The five days of the title refers to five separate days when crucial events occur in the investigation. It's very good on the police procedural aspect. Something you seldom find on TV is the show's spotlight on ancillary units like the police's public relations and liaison departments.

Aside from the central mystery, what I found fascinating about it was how it manages to touch on other tangential topics - multi-racial marriages, problems in stepfamilies, multi-generational families and the sorry state of British institutions today. It's nice to see a show poke fun at the many sore points ailing modern Britain - the need for absolute political correctness, the over-abundance of CCTV cameras monitoring every aspect of people's daily lives, the sorry state of policing, the much derided "Community Support Officers", ("plastic police" whose main job is to issue ASBOs - warning letters for criminals caught committing crimes), the presence of increasing numbers of foreigners, the outsourcing of government jobs (a key suspect escapes while in the custody of a private security contractor) and the dreaded NHS (National Health Service) where patients are left out in the corridors of overflowing hospitals like casualties in some Third World country.

Spread over 5 hours and 5 episodes, it remains riveting until near the end. The final episode does tend to drag at points.
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Format: DVD
FIVE DAYS is a slow moving but ultimately rewarding British miniseries that tells the story of a drawn-out policy inquiry through a different sort of dramatic lens. Each hourlong episode focuses on a different day of the case, the first two close together, the third a disconcertingly long time later, the fourth on a day when public interest in the case has nearly lapsed, and the fifth a year after the original police report. Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes sets her tale in a British suburb, apparently normal on the outside, but inwardly torn by seething disputes, broken families, and long-simmering racial tensions. Beautiful Leanne Wellings seems to have it all, happiness with a handsome second husband, three beautiful children (two under eight years of age, and a teenaged girl), and a family heavily invested in community and heritage. When she stops her car on sn impulse to buy some flowers for her ailing grandfather, and leaves her two youngest in the car while she hops across the road, the tension begins right there. Somehow, you imagine, somebody is going to nab the kids right out of the car while Leanne is picking out flowers from the strange makeshift gypsy trailer parked in the "Lay-by" not fifty yards from a bustling expressway. But what happens, while shocking, is not what you would suppose!

Everything you thought about any of the characters in part one gets turned on its head by episodes two and three. The seeming closeness of Leanne's family is just an illusion, and the fact that Leanne's second husband Matt is black serves as a bombshell for revealing much about the prejudice lurking behind the white picket fences of modern day suburbia.
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Format: Amazon Video
Five Days involves the disappearance of a young mother, and covers a 79-day period of time in 5 episodes, each dedicated to one day in that 79-day stretch of time. While a welcome departure from the usual TV/movie formula, days (in some cases, weeks) of story time pass between episodes and events that take place "off the air" make watching episodes 3, 4, and 5 feel like you were gone from the room to get a snack longer than you thought and missed significant chunks of the plot.

With a better script, this issue could have been overcome, but Five Days' characters can't carry the load; they are so poorly-developed, their actions and motivations, when not cliche, contradicting, or raggedly shifting from scene to scene like an old TR6, are often simply inexplicable.

Yet even with these glaring flaws, I opted to hang on to the end, so I can only blame myself. Halfway through the final installment the wheels came so completely off the bus I began to resent the time I'd invested in the first four episodes. A 5-plus hour show needs a worthy plot -- not necessarily James Pattersonesque twist-after-twist-after-twist into the implausible, but a neat, satisfying conclusion. Five Days (semi-spoiler-alert) merely throws a handful of main characters into a cliche fray with unrealistic dialogue all too common in TV shows where the bad guys spell out exactly what they did. Even more groan-worthy in this case is that shortly before the evil-doers conveniently have an argument to let us know what happened, the lead detective (with conjecture not seen since circa 1990 episodes of Murder She Wrote) suggests a theory of the case based upon the skimpiest of evidence that turns out to be dead on. Unfortunately, that the detective ends up being right doesn't make him look like a shrewd investigator, but a character in a show where the real mystery is: how did this thing ever get made?
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